NHL Trade Deadline: Breaking Down Potential Landing Spots for Top Trade Targets
The NHL trade deadline is less than four days away, and with the exception of Jarome Iginla, all of the biggest names on the trading block remain available.
As a result of the lockout-shortened season, there are an unusual number of teams still in the postseason hunt at the deadline, so more than half of the NHL's 30 clubs will be looking to re-tool on the go in preparation for what should be a mad dash to the playoffs.
As we close in on the final days before the deadline, here's a look at where some of the biggest names on the trade market could end up.
After the Flames dealt longtime captain Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh, Jay Feaster's next order of business is deciding what to do with rangy defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who is being pursued by a number of postseason-bound clubs.
Obviously, the asking price for a top-pairing rearguard will be high, especially because Bouwmeester is locked up for another season at a cap hit of $6.68 million. However, for teams in need of a capable puck-moving defenseman, he's the best player available.
The Senators are searching for a short-term replacement for Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, while the Wings and Blues are looking to bolster their blue-line corps in preparation for postseason runs.
The Sharks are still very much in the thick of things for one of the final postseason berths in the Western Conference, but that might not keep them from shipping a big name out of San Jose.
A year ago, Ryane Clowe would've garnered a hefty return for the Sharks on the trade market, but given the power forward's offensive struggles this season, teams on the market for secondary scoring may be able to acquire the former 60-point man at a discount.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Greg Wyshynski, the Sharks have had no shortage of suitors for the 30-year-old bruiser:
The Boston connection has been rumored for some time – hey, wouldn’t a blockbuster with Clowe and Dan Boyle filling the Bruins’ two needs be a ton of fun?
Montreal fans have been mulling overtheir team adding Clowe for the playoff push. Perhaps with the Sharks scouting the Habs and Rangers today, that might actually come to pass.
After losing out to the Penguins in the Iginla sweepstakes, Clowe would be a nice consolation prize for the Bruins, and his physical style of play would mesh perfectly with the team's notorious in-your-face mentality.
Almost a year since Roberto Luongo lost his No. 1 job in Vancouver to Cory Schneider, the All-Star goaltender remains a member of the Canucks, but how much longer can this soap opera possibly go on?
At least according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, if the Leafs get their way, it could be over very soon:
Gillis and Nonis spoke this week and, while there’s no deal that’s imminent and there may never be a deal, it certainly appears there’s groundwork built here for the two teams to keep tabs on this until Wednesday.
Nonis has always kept interest in Luongo, whom he traded for in Vancouver when he was GM, but talks went silent between both clubs for quite a while until last week.
It was predictable both clubs would eventually circle back to each other, the Leafs always being the most obvious fit for Luongo.
In Luongo, Toronto would finally get what it has been after for the past three seasons: a legitimate starting goaltender.
Ultimately, whether the Maple Leafs actually acquire Luongo depends a lot on the asking price, because given how well Toronto has played as of late, it's tough to see Dave Nonis parting with any of his most productive forwards.
But if Luongo is moved, he'll be headed to Toronto, because at least until the summer there are no other realistic trade partners for Mike Gillis and the Canucks.
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